European Federation of Journalists

Italy: Solidarity with striking journalists at Giornale Radio Rai

Screenshot of the video announcing the strike of Giornale Radio Rai's journalists on 25 March. Credits: @Radio1Rai.

The journalists of the Giornale Radio Rai are on a 24-hour strike today, 25 March, against the cuts announced by the national public service media Rai company. The broadcaster intends to merge the sports editorial team with Rai Sport and Giornale Rai Parliament with Rai Parliament. The International and the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) together with its affiliate, the Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI), stand in solidarity with journalists at Giornale Radio Rai and urge Rai’s management to consider all alternative options to avoid lay-offs and downgrading broadcast output.

On 20 March, Rai Radio 1 journalists announced on their social media platforms that the company wanted to remove the sports editorial staff and the Giornale Rai Parliament, transferring them to other newspapers. As a response, radio journalists refused to sign their news reports and called for a day of strike on 25 March.

“The journalists are protesting against the company’s plans […], which are completely the wrong approach. They do not take into account the differences in language, as well as techniques, between radio and TV. These plans can only result in damage to Radio Rai,” reads the statement released by Rai Union of Journalists (USIGRai) on the day of action.

Journalists at Giornale Radio Rai say ‘no’ to cuts and to mergers, and sound the alarm on those who would deprive the public of two fundamental pillars of reporting – politics and sports.

At the beginning of 2024, the centenary year of Italian radio, the USIGRai and FNSI highlighted the need of initiating a discussion with Rai on the future of radio, as the country registered an increase in radio listeners, but a decrease in the rating of three Radio Rai networks’. On that occasion, the union representatives stated: “While the media grows, the company has isolated itself from the system.”

FNSI President Vittorio di Trapani said: “Rai’s decision to remove the sports and parliamentary editorial staff from the Giornale Radio Rai is a step towards the project of those who want to separate Rai Radio 1 from the journalistic editorial team. Full support for the struggle of Giornale Radio Rai journalists.”

The IFJ-EFJ stated: “We back the journalists’ demands and their legitimate protest against Rai’s decision. We stand in full solidarity with them and hope that today’s strike will raise public awareness on the need to keep the pillar of Italian journalism that is radio intact.”